Help Buying a Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MacMosher, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. MacMosher macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    Well I just came home from university and my parents are offering to buy me a camera because Im doing good. So I figured I would go ask some people that actually know what there talking about before I head into future shop or somthing.

    So pretty much Im going to tell you what I want to use it for you guys can hand me some advice on what I should purchase and whats worth my money. Well for the most part it will be used as a fun camera taking pictures of parties and so on but there are some things that I would like to do with it other then that.

    I would really like to(or somone to do it using my camera) be able to take photos when Im at the beach surfing or take photos of the people out in the water. Now I don't want to actually get into the water with it or anything like that, I just want to be able to take some decent photos from shore.

    Second, Ive seen some of the assignments you've guys have gotten into and I would love to become a part of it and learn some new techniques. But over all the Camera will be used for fun.

    So, I would really appreciate any input you guys could give me. Like what to look for, what to stay away from so on and so forth, keeping in mind Im not into this trying to put my parents in the poor house for buying this camera so somthing not to to expensive.


    Thanks a million

    Mark
     
  2. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #2
    I have just purchased a Sony P200 which is a great carmera for its price at the moment. If you want something small that will fit in your pocket and be robust then this is what you want.

    You also say that you want to be able to take photos from the shore then you need something with a decent zoom. At the moment most PAS cameras only have a 3x optical zoom which aint great. If you want something with a better zoon then it will be something that you cant carry around in your pocket iPod like.

    I suppose it depends what you want more. Size or a good zoom. my preference in size. I know with the P200 that I can by additional lenses at a later date.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    "decent surf picures from shore" is implies a huge telephoto lens on a tripod and a curved shorline so you can get a close up side or three quarter view of the surfer. You are talking about a DSLR and a few "kilo-bucks" budget I asume this is a non-option

    But Canon, Nikon Olypus and Sony make low cost ($150 to $190) underwater housing that aplow the camera to go in the water. These work well at the beach or skiing too.
    However not all the models have housings available so check first before you buy the camera and _do not wait_ you will have a heck of a time buying a housing for an older camera. Buy the housing while the camera is still the current model. They change fast.
    The housing are good I use them with scuba.

    It's really hard to beat the top of the line Olympus point and shoot. Take a ook t the sp-350. Price is not bad and it can shoot raw format, accepts quality wide and tele screw-on lens accessorys has a "hot shoe" for a flash and there is a housing made for it.

    You can find smaller camera but you did not list size as a criteria and you can find better ones but I asume you not looking to spend a $1000 or I'd say to spring for a DSRL setup.
    But be warned there are NO low priced DSLRhousings they all cost more than the camera inside.
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/sp350.html
     
  4. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #4
    Thanks to both of you for your input and Youden this is what I feared. O well an underwater casing might just do the trick.

    However I was looking at the sp350 that Chris has suggested, and I have slanted towards the sp320. However the underwater casing was not within the price range you suggested (300$) which is rather unfortunate.

    However the style of the camera which is fun but powerful is exactly what Im looking for. I will have alook around at Canon, Nikon and Sony like you suggested. However if you have anymore suggestions Im free to take them, as well before I go out and buy I will post and tell what Im looking to get to make sure Im not getting in over my head.

    Thanks a lot its much appreciated,

    Mark
     
  5. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #5
    Kodak just introduced the V610 camera, which is an inch thick, but has a 10x optical zoom. This way, it'll fit in your pocket, but will be versatile enough to do what you want with it. Saying that, the camera is brand new, and I'm guessing it'll be over $300, so price may be an issue.

    My father recently bought the Sony P200, and he's very happy with it, and it's fairly cheap now too.
     
  6. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #6
    Hmm although I welcome your suggestion, I can't seem to find this V610
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    You are shopping in the wrong store B&H has it for $189.95
    A few other places have it for $179.95
    Possably still off budget but not $300

    B&H was a very good reputation, amoung the best in the industry but not absolute rock bottom prices. So take your pick.
     
  8. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #8
    O Ok thanks for you correction, I think I was looking off the suggested selling price of Olympus.

    As well How are HP in cameras? my brother has just bought one and Im looking to fallow suit, futureshop has a good deal on one right now (shown below) is it worth it or should I keep looking (can get somthing better for my money).
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10072547&catid=

    Yeah and Im kinda new to this whole thing but Im interested in learning so like I said any input would be nice.

    Mark
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #9
    Use Google. It's at
    http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=8914&pq-locale=en_US

    Look at the specs on the lens. It's slow f/7.1 or f/8.0 at the long end and only to f/4 or so on the other. It's the lens that takes the picture

    In advertizing directed to non-photographers they push the number of pixels, the size of the LCD screnn and the zoom ratio of the lens and not much else. They do this becaue these numbers are easy to understand not becasue they matter. What _really_ matters is the quality of the optics, the physical size of the CCD (bigger is better) and a ergonomics of the controls, the meter system and auto focus acuracy and speed and little things like how (ad if) you control which autofocus sensor is active
     
  10. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #10
    Thanks this is the type of info Im looking for.

    ok like I said Im new so bare with me, can you explain a little more on your lens topic and tell me exactly what I should look for(f/8.0 is slow? what does this mean).

    I have been pulled in by the advertising in looking at the zoom cause thats what one of the major things I was looking for but sense you say its better to look at what really counts I will listen.

    What should I be looking for specificaly for a lower priced camera in these areas (feel free to add some)

    Mega pixels:
    Opitical Zoom:
    Digital Zoom:
    Shutter Speed:
    Arperture Range:
    Focus Range:
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Sorry, I'm at uni and didn't have time to read everyone's post thoroughly, but if you want to take surf photos and are going to take it at the beach (there's surf in NS?), you can get into the water. That way, you're closer to the action and don't need a massive zoom. A 3x one may then be good enough. ;)

    But what camera do you take into the water? Olympus makes a "weather-proof" camera called the Stylus 600/800, and according to this review, you can spill red wine (and water) on it and it'll still function, so a little water won't hurt it. Don't expect to swim with it, but getting it wet is ok. You can get it at Futureshop for $299 + taxes. ;)

    The Pentax WPi can be taken completely into the water, and as long as you don't take it below 6 ft, you can actually use the thing underwater. :eek: Not sure how it deals with salt water, though. Also, I haven't commented about the photo quality since I'm not sure, but I met a girl in a hostel at Manly Beach (yep, the Manly Beach) and she uses hers in the water and loves it, although despite what Pentax says about being able to use it from 0 to 6 ft underwater, she's skeptical enough that she would never just swim with the bloody thing for hours. She says she doesn't mind getting it submerged in a bit of water, but not to swim with it for long periods. Take that as you will.

    Pentax W10 is also waterproof but I don't know if you can swim with it. They sell it at Futureshop for $399 Cdn. :)

    Oh, and Futureshop doesn't always carry everything, y'know. ;) Check other stores other than BestBuy.ca and Futureshop.ca
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    In Canada, it might be. ;) I think he didn't take the currency conversion into consideration. Just a bit of a mix-up, that's all.
     
  13. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #13
    Yeah... the problem is there arnt alot of variety of stores around that I know of although that wont stop me from looking.

    Yeah Ive looked at the water proof cameras but I think ill just stick with a drylander ahaha and pick up a case if I decide to take it into the water (I know ill have to do it rather quick before they change models)
     
  14. bruvone macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I just picked up the canon a540 at futureshop. I've been happy with it so far, and there is an underwater housing available for that model too (not sure at what price though). This camera his aperature and shutter priority and full manual control, as well as lots of preset point and shoot modes. So its an easy camera to use when you don't want to think, but still has some room for creative control when you want it. The a700 is also available at FS, and is almost the same camera just a better zoom (7x vs. 4x on the a540) and the 700 has a higher resolution screen, but its also $100 more.

    So anyway, thats my 2 cents.
     
  15. bruvone macrumors newbie

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    #15
    in response to the f8.0 being slow, they're refering to the aperture of the lens. The lower the aperture number, the more light can get into the camera, so you can use a faster shutter speed. So by using a bigger aperture number (decreasing the light coming into the camera), you must also use a slower shutter speed, which you may not want to do in some situations. Aperture will also have an effect on how much is in focus in the photo. Little number = only the subject in focus, big number = everything in focus. Kinda confusing, I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point.

    I hope I didn't messed that up too badly:eek:
     
  16. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #16
    A bit on the higher end of the recomendations, I would recomend a Nikon D50 or D70 with a 70-300mm (ED) lens. It will quite upgradable in the future in terms of lenses and other equipment. A D50 Body will run about $550, however I would consider the kit (another ~$100). A 70-300mm lens will run about $150 to $300 depending upon which model. This setup will get FAR superior photos than almost any point and shoot.

    -Ted
     
  17. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #17
    That actually helped alot... a bit confussing but I have a good idea whats going on now.


    Thanks for the suggestion Java but its a bit high on my price range right now, maybe after I become more dedicated to photography I might go for somthing like that. Im looking for somthing 300 or below (I know this doesnt do much for professional photos but its all Im going to shoot for).
     
  18. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #18
    Ok so Ive tried to do some research and see what I can come up with myself and I would like some input for what I can expect for my price range(<300). These are my priorities:

    Manual Focus, Aperture control, Saturation, Exposure time, Macro Mode.
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    You do realize that the cameras I suggested can be used on dry land just like every other camera, right? You don't need to make the choice between a water-proof camera and a "drylander". ;) Those cameras function the same as any other digital. The main difference is the casing and how they seal the......erm....."seams" or whatever you'd call them in the camera world.

    And I think you're getting overcomplicated with your list of features. You want a small camera that you can take to parties and shoot photos of your friends doing goofy isht. Every ultra-slim, lightweight camera will provide that. They'll mostly have "macro mode," although some will have a better implementation than others. Aperture and shutter priority.......not sure if you'd be able to find these features from a small camera, but possibly a medium sized camera. I don't know.

    I think a small thin camera is what you're best off with. Many of them have enough manual controls, and yet be small enough to fit in your pocket. I have a Canon SD300, and I love it. It fits into my pocket perfectly, and is just a bit wider than my mobile phone. If you want a lot of manual features, you'd be better off buying a digital SLR.

    The difference between you and most people is that you want to take photos in the surf. Since most of these cameras have a 3x zoom, you're either going to have to get a medium-sized digital camera with 4 to 12x zoom that won't fit in your pocket comfortably, or you can get a small camera and use "foot zoom", which means you need to grab a wetsuit and walk into the water.
     
  20. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502

    japasneezemonk

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    #20
    IMO don't consider digital zoom. only optical.
     
  21. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #21
    ok that seems like some good advice if Ive ever heard any. Im going to head into town today and have a look around. I understand what you mean that I can take on that is water resistant else where but I was under the impression that when you purchase these amphious cameras you lose zoom(inderect relationship.)

    Thanks your for comment Japa, I will take that into consideration.
     
  22. bruvone macrumors newbie

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    #22
  23. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #23
    Yes I was deffinitly looking at both your choices, and Im going to go in today and have a look specifically at those 2.
     
  24. MacMosher thread starter macrumors 6502

    MacMosher

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    #24
    First off I want to thank all of you for your help in my choice in Camera, I decided to go with the Canon A530 PowerShot.

    The only thing Im not particularly fond if is the power supply on it...but I guess you get what you pay for :p

    Thanks again,
    Mark
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25
    You may want your parents to pick up the more expensive option for a dry land camera. And save your pennies for a true waterproof camera like the Pentax Optio WPi or W10, or the new Olympus 720SW with shock resistance. These cameras can go 5 to 10 feet under water for up to 30 minutes at a time. Great for splashing in the surf.
     

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